If you and your partner have struggled to get pregnant, chances are high that you are already stressed out. The next step may be considering in vitro fertilization (IVF) or other assisted reproductive technology (ART), which can bring a whole new range of anxiety.
According to a 2018 study, infertility is comparable to cancer, leading to depression for many people. When adding the uncertainty of IVF to the mix, the risks for mental health challenges only increase for those who go through the process.
Discuss potential stressors before beginning IVF
Nothing can replace the joy of growing your family. But couples who undergo IVF or other ART methods should understand the challenges before starting the process to guard their mental health. Here are some of the questions to consider:
Can we afford it?
Money is a leading cause of stress for most couples. But IVF is expensive, as one cycle may run anywhere from $12,000 to $17,000, and several cycles may be necessary before pregnancy occurs. It’s wise to see whether your insurance plan covers any expenses. You may also want to limit how much you’re willing or able to spend.
How can we support each other?
It is crucial for couples to be on the same page when undergoing IVF. Talk to your partner about your expectations and listen to their concerns. Remember that everyone handles stress differently. Consider talking to a professional therapist to help you cope.
Who do we tell?
Fertility issues are common, and no one should be embarrassed when they happen. But decide with whom you want to share this incredibly personal information. If you’re going to limit knowledge to immediate family members and close friends, make sure they understand how important it is to you that they keep this information guarded.
Why are we doing this?
When times get tough, always remember the big picture. You and your partner fell in love and wanted to start a family. Never forget the deep bond that brought you to this point. Promise to be there for each other, and, above all, don’t focus on pregnancy as the only way to ensure your future happiness.
How do we handle legal concerns?
Most people are unaware of Florida’s laws and court rulings related to ART. Legal issues can arise over the process, such as when donated eggs or sperm are used or understanding the options for storing or donating extra embryos. Talking to an experienced lawyer specializing in assisted reproduction laws can remove some worries, allowing you to focus on your physical and mental well-being.